Federal OK needed on lone bid to develop Lafayette Courts site 2nd bidder dropped out, claiming city agency bias

November 14, 1995|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF

Baltimore's Housing Authority would need to get federal approval before awarding a contract to redevelop the site of the demolished Lafayette Courts high-rises to a single bidder, a U.S. housing official said yesterday.

William F. Tamburrino, director of public housing in Baltimore for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said he would review any decision to contract to a lone bidder to assure that it was widely publicized, responsive and reasonable.

"With a single bid, the Housing Authority must request our approval to award" the contract, Mr. Tamburrino said.

If that approval is not granted, he said, the contract would have to be rebid.

The possibility that the Housing Authority could be left with a single bidder arose last week when one of two bidders for the $45 million to $65 million project demanded that a federally picked panel evaluate the bids because it fears the city agency would be biased.

The New York-based Edmonds Group asked that its bid for the project to build townhouses, a high-rise for the elderly and other buildings not be considered unless its demand is granted.

The Housing Authority rejected Edmonds' demand and said it would consider the single remaining bid -- a joint venture headed by A&R Development Corp. of Baltimore and Harkins Builders of Bethesda.

A Housing Authority spokesman said the agency considered the case closed.

"This is not an appealable matter," said spokesman Zack Germroth.

Peter H. McCallion, Edmonds' attorney, said his client would decide whether to appeal to HUD by the end of the week.

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